Guest Editorial: Welcome to Montgomery County, Venezuela!

Harry Hardman.

Harry Hardman, Guest Editorialist

I am writing to voice my sincere disappointment and disbelief in today’s statement by County Judge Keough regarding the Stay In Place order issued yesterday. I cannot believe that the most conservative County in the State of Texas is stripping us of our Constitutional rights. Welcome to Montgomery County, Venezuela!

The previous, well-thought out directives we are currently following (and the ones the Judge enthusiastically pledged would remain the case just 2 days ago) are what we should still be under – not this total overreach of government control.  In fact, based on the County’s own Covid-19 statistics today, this current illness is affecting only approximately .0000718 percent of the population (41 infected so far in a county of 570,934). I am truly grateful that no one in Montgomery County has succumbed to this disease and I am literally praying every day that it passes quickly, but at this point these draconian, unconstitutional measures are totally uncalled for and unnecessary at this time, and are the first steps toward Socialism in this state.

 As an elected official myself, I take the wellbeing of the citizens of Montgomery County extremely seriously. We all must continue to  take the proper precautions regarding social distancing, personal hygiene, etc., which we have been doing EFFECTIVELY up until now. If, and when (and I thank God we are not remotely near that point) the number of infected warrants this level of restriction, I will be the first to support it. But now is NOT that time!  

 Today’s political capitulation by Judge Mark J Keough is incredibly disappointing as I see this “cure” as being significantly more damaging than the disease. I heard from Jason Millsaps, his Chief of Staff (and a person I respect) that the potential forecasted exponential growth of the virus was “staggering” just for Montgomery County. He didn’t share with me what “staggering” equated to in numerical terms, but how does that equate to the many hundreds of millions of dollars we KNOW our County’s economy will lose as part of this unnecessary mandate? How many businesses will be forced to close permanently? How many lives will be permanently affected by this shutdown? How many people will lose their homes/cars/possessions as a result of not being able to pay their bills? How long will it take us to recover from this? We must NOT take this lying down!

 I urge everyone to keep things in perspective. According to the Texas Health and Human Services Texas Case Counts on COVID-19 (, Texas has 1,731 reported cases and only 23 deaths as of 6:00 pm last night. In contrast, almost 5,000 infants are murdered every month in Texas by abortion. Those are not potential deaths; those are historical death rates that have not earned an iota of public intervention or restriction, or the hysteria we are currently enduring. Why are we so over-reacting on the possibility of something that would have to multiply by orders of magnitude to come close to this number? If the risk for us in Montgomery County is, in fact, this dire, substantive and immediate action needs to be taken by the Federal government and the Governor of Texas to deploy all available resources to counteract this threat, and we deserve to know it now to allow us to adequately prepare. If not, the Judge needs to remember that we are Texans – independent, law-abiding and smart – not the socialist lemmings of other states and countries and continue to trust that we will do the right thing, just as we have been.

I know Judge Keogh to be a prudent, God-fearing man, and I know he didn’t make this decision lightly. However, I believe he’s overreacting in this instance and I think he is wrong. I urge all like-minded citizens to call his office – (936) 539-7812 – and voice your concerns as well.

Harry Hardman is a businessman who lives in Conroe.



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